September 26 is an important day in my life dateline. Today, to make it more memorable, I have taken a decision that may be insignificant in others’ views, but seems important to me.
A bit of a background: whenever I write or post something that criticizes a person, policies, rituals or any decisions of state or centre rulers, I usually get advice from my well-wishers to take it easy and not annoy anybody.
My intellectual friends some time quote eminent Punjabi poet Surjit Patar’s lines:
ਏਨਾ ਵੀ ਸੱਚ ਨਾ ਬੋਲ ਕਿ 'ਕੱਲਾ ਰਹਿ ਜਾਵੇ,
ਚਾਰ ਕੁ ਬੰਦੇ ਛੱਡ ਲੈ ਮੋਢਾ ਦੇਣ ਲਈ
Aina vi sach na bol k kalla reh jaawein,
bas chaar ku bande shad lae modha den lyi.
(Don’t speak so much truth that you are left alone,
You must leave at least four persons unprovoked, who may act as your pall bearers)
For last few days, I have been contemplating and wondering what if on my death, my family or caretaker has to gather four persons to act as pall bearers to carry my dead body to cremation ground (which is usually named as Swarga Dham
) and they are unable to convince some people? Would they feel guilty?
In the meantime, I encountered a quote by an American artist and thinker, David Wojnarowicz:
I worry that friends will slowly become professional pallbearers, waiting for each death, of their lovers, friends and neighbors, and polishing their funeral speeches; perfecting their rituals of death rather than a relatively simple ritual of life such as screaming in the streets.
It made me think what if my dead body is not cremated or buried or immersed in water? Would it make it any difference to my soul? Yes, I do believe a body is nothing without a soul!
So, should there be an occasion where my dead body is laying unattended awaiting four shoulders to dispose it off, I have taken a decision. I know that perhaps I could not be useful during my lifetime on this planet, I believe, at least let my dead body serve some purpose.
Hence, I have pledged to donate my dead body for the purpose of medical research. I am pledging to donate my organs.
Doctors should extract whatever useful organs and then handover the corpse to medical students for their research and practical work.
My request to my family members, relatives, friends and persons who even remotely know me, is that if my death happens somewhere close to you, please inform the concerned authorities immediately so that they can take my dead body to the appropriate hospital/institution without wasting time. Human organs usually have very short time-window for being extracted and transplanted to another body.
Cherry on top
Initially, when I had decided to pledge to donate my organs after my death, my understanding was that after extracting whatever useful organs, my dead body will be handed over to my family and they will cremate it.
When I discussed this with my son, with a mischievous smile and twinkling eyes, the young man asked me, "But Sardar (he addresses me like that whenever he is sure of having a scoring point) how do you know that your organs would be fit enough to be of some use? What will be the utility of the whole exercise if your organs are not useful?”
I was happy that at last we were on the same page, even though it was on the issue of deciding the mode to dispose off my dead body. I asked him, what if I donate my dead body for research and practical work of medical students. His response was, ‘I don’t mind but I am not sure if your corpse will be of any use.’
At that point, I realize that Ullu ka patha
is feeling relieved that he won’t have to bother about handling my dead body, arranging ice slabs, making funeral arrangements, gathering people for carrying my corpse to the cremation ground. Then collect the ashes and immerse them in a water body. After all, that’s the way a dead body is treated.
Yet, this time, I don’t want to disturb his easy-go-lucky lifestyle and let him have all the fun. So, thanks to everybody and relax buddies, you don’t have to bother about my last rites!
(kanwar manjit singh is the founder editor/publisher of a little-known media house, Punjab Today, and usually disregarded for his insane write-ups, posts and tweets)
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